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Upgraded Win10 HD died - how to now reinstall?

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orion456

Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
I upgraded from win7 to win10 and now my HD crashed during some Win10 updates. I had made a backup of the operating system using Win10 to an 8GB Win10 USB, which I understood to be a repair/install USB drive and which was suppose to include files to reinstall Win10. However, when I went to use the USB it said the crashed HD could not be repaired or used to install on. I put a new HD in the machine and the USB drive refused to install Win10 on the drive saying it found nothing to repair/upgrade.

How then should I reinstall windows on my new HD? I have the old win7 install disk but will the key work and now that the free Win10 upgrade is gone, how can I get back to Win10?
 

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Not 100% sure, but MS stores the Win10 licence either in the cloud, or tied to your MS account login if you used one for Win10. In theory, if you reinstall the correct version of Win10, if necessary login using the same online account, it should pick up the existing licence for the hardware without further intervention. I've only done this once on a no-account system so the cloud licencing seemed to work. Bit scary not having anything tangible though. There's a Win10 install media creator you can download from MS, although it needs another working PC and a spare USB flash drive ideally (think it also creates optical media).
 

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
You would fresh install WIn10 and it will activate without you entering a key or anything because your system has been saved in the cloud and a Win10 key assigned to it.
You need to look into partitioning your hard drive and making a DRIVE IMAGE of your OS partition, not a restore point or similar, if you want to RESTORE the operating system to the state it was in when you made the image.
 
OP
orion456

orion456

Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
How do I get a win10 disk to install since I only have win7 disks? Since I have no win10 license number, how will it know what version of win10 to install ?

Oh, and I reinstalled win7 on that machine and now it says my win7 license is not valid.....wonderful !!
 

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

You can download the Windows 10 install media creation tool there. Follow instructions to make a bootable Win10 USB drive. Then install the version of Win10 you used to have. If you can't remember, it'll be the same as for Win7 e.g. select home or pro. If all goes well, it'll recognise the hardware and pickup your existing Win10 licence when online. Skip the part about entering a key if it comes up.
 
OP
orion456

orion456

Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

You can download the Windows 10 install media creation tool there. Follow instructions to make a bootable Win10 USB drive. Then install the version of Win10 you used to have. If you can't remember, it'll be the same as for Win7 e.g. select home or pro. If all goes well, it'll recognise the hardware and pickup your existing Win10 licence when online. Skip the part about entering a key if it comes up.

Thanks.